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ONI Black Ops Part Four
Posted By: Havok<Tactical_Havok@hotmail.com>
Date: 11 May 2003, 12:23 AM

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      Vladimir sat in the cushioned launch seat, harness strapped across his chest. He peered out the viewport and watched silently as the blue planet that had been his home for the last year gradually shrank. Across the aisle from Vladimir sat the master chief. The super soldier. Even now, without his imposing armor, he was quite a spectacle. His head almost touched the ceiling in the passenger compartment; his biceps strained against the black fabric of his uniform, and his broad shoulders made him take up two full seats. This was a soldier to be reckoned with.

      Vladimir turned back to the viewport, and was greeted with a view of the stars. They had left the touch of the atmosphere and were approaching their destination: the UNSC Archangel. Probably one of the newest vessels to enter the fleet. It was the second in the production line of the new Hades class battlecruisers, Protected by four full meters of refractive alloy, the same energy absorbing armor on the MJOLNIR armor, she was equipped with the latest Battleaxe missile systems and four MAC cannons, two upper and two lower. Along the cannons' lengths were electromagnetic recapacitators which would recycle waste energy generated by weapon discharge. The Archangel could keep up a constant rate of MAC fire for a limited period of time.

      The ships seemed to flow into and out of the blackness of space. The ship no doubt also had stealth characteristics built into it. Vladimir began to wonder if the covenant would even see this thing coming. The ship was only visible when looked at from certain angles, making it a tricky thing to target with weapons or even dock with.

      The warship also packed in the latest nuclear power plant, being almost identical to the Pillar of Autumn's reactor, albeit much more powerful to support the larger ship. Also to be found on board was a vertical launch system located in the battlecruiser's bow. In each of the twenty-six tubes were Shiva nuclear missiles. The Archangel could take on an armada of Covenant warships and prevail. Vladimir could only pray that it would keep him safe on this deployment. Indeed, that it would keep the entire team safe. After the untimely demise of Dr. Halsey, it had been a stretch to come up with the brainpower for this project. If they were killed, no one would be left to carry on the MJOLNIR program. Less knowledgeable and talented scientists would have to start practically from scratch.

      The shuttle broke free of the gravity clutch of Sigma Draconis and docked with the UNSC Archangel. Vladimir, along with the rest of his team, was led to the research section of the warship. He was given his own quarters, with a personal work station and the usual amenities. He had instructions to get settled in, and then report to the main briefing room in one hour. Vladimir was unpacked in minutes, not having very many personal possessions. He took advantage of his remaining time until the briefing to track down the master chief.

      He found the legendary soldier at the far end of the research section of the ship. He quarters were bare, with a bed, footlocker, and closet. That was it.

      "Master Chief." Vladimir said as the soldier turned to face him. "We have got quite a while until the briefing, so I thought I'd track you down."

      John nodded and motioned for Vladimir to enter the room. Vladimir sat on the bed, John leaned against a wall. "What I can do for you sir?" he asked.

      "Well I was hoping you could tell me a little about yourself, your past, your future. Something left out of your CSV. I've read the entire thing, being one of the privileged few that have had the opportunity to do so."

      The master chief looked at Vladimir for a long moment. "Well, Sir, there's not much to tell that isn't already in my full CSV. If one of your questions is if I regret how I was conscripted at the age of six, stolen away from my parents and childhood; If I regret being harshly indoctrinated into the military system, and genetically altered to become what I am today, then the answer is no. Doctor Halsey gave my life a direction and an importance that would have not been possible otherwise. No doubt you think it is a cruel and unusual punishment for a child to be so ruthlessly indoctrinated, as many people do." He paused. "But what those people do not realize is that any trainee who empathetically did not want to become a Spartan did not have too. Though conscripted, there is a great deal one can do to get drummed out of the military. Becoming a Spartan seemed to be the only real direction for my life to take. No doubt every other Spartan feels the same way. I can and will vouch for any of them." He leaned back and looked at the scientist.

      Vladimir shifted uneasily on the bed. That was actually his main question, and it seemed to be a popular one. "I have heard respected people argue that what section three did to you was unethical, morally wrong, and illegal."

      The Spartan folded his massive arms over his chest and spoke. "How people at this dark time of peril, when humanity lies on the brink of extinction, how they can say such things is unthinkable. Doctor Halsey took the initiative and started a project that has a chance of saving humankind. What they must fail to comprehend is the fact that is we fail; it won't matter if what has happened is illegal or morally wrong. And if we prevail, those illegal and unethical wrongdoings will be justified."

      Vladimir thought for a moment. "Master Chief, I have always supported the SPARTAN program from the moment it came to my attention. It has been my dream to work on MJOLNIR. And now it has come true. I want you to know that I have put a great deal of faith in you. And now I can be sure that that faith has not been misplaced." He looked down at his watch. "Well, it looks like its time for the briefing. We'd better get going."

      As he headed for the door, Vladimir paused and extended his hand. "I hope the new suit works out okay."

      John reached out and shook the scientist's hand with a firm grip that threatened the bone structure of Vladimir's fingers. "I hope it works too, sir."